Muslim Cleric: Gays and Adulterers Can Benefit From Being Stoned To Death

According to the Toronto Sun, a Muslim cleric said that gays, adulterers and sinners can benefit from being stoned to death:

The sheikh explained that a Muslim who is sentenced to death by stoning under Sharia law actually benefits from this gruesome punishment as his or her soul is being purified even as the stones rain down on their sinful head.

And this wasn’t just any Muslim. This guy has some clout in the Muslim community:

This from a man who serves as both president of the Islamic Forum of Canada and vice-president of the Islamic Council of Imams of Canada.

This is the sort of thing that happens when your brain is pickled by ancient mythological nonsense. You can actually condone and justify stoning someone to death for being a ‘sinner’.

I’ve watched videos where people have been stoned to death. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t fast. It’s gruesome and horrific. It would bring anyone with an once of empathy to tears. To condone this sort of behavior for any reason is inhumane and ghastly. To think that this guy has any sort of power whatsoever is alarming to say the least.

People often wonder why some atheists criticize religion and religious dogma so harshly, and this is part of the reason why. This kind of crap is dangerous. It definitely shows what can happen once you accept ancient texts as being holy, even though many believers just ignore the immoral, cruel parts of their ancient mythology, and try to focus on the warm and fuzzy stuff.

No,  Sheikh Faisal Hamid Abdur-Razak, nobody benefits from being stoned. Neither the person being stoned, nor the animals doing the stoning benefit. You should be ashamed of yourself for even trying to justify such a thing. You call your religion ‘the religion of peace’ and then spout this horrific bullshit.

Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Rules That Atheism Deserves The Same Protections As Religion

Mr. Choinard
A win for secularism and free speech was won in an Ontario court today.
Three years ago, Mr. Choinard, a Grimsby, Ont. father decided to protest against the handing out of Gideon bibles to the resident grade 5 students. Since the school board refused to stop handing out the religious material, Mr. Choinard decided to propose handing out the book: “Just Pretend: A Freethought Book for Children”, to those same students.
Of course, the religious couldn’t have that. They told him that he wasn’t allowed to hand out his book, and so they took a trip to court.
Today the court ruled:

Atheism is a creed deserving of the the same religious protections as Christianity, Islam, and other faiths, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled in a new decision.

“Protection against discrimination because of religion, in my view, must include protection of the applicants’ belief that there is no deity,” wrote David A. Wright, associate chair of the commission, in an August 13 decision.

Of course! That’s common freaking sense. You can’t have freedom of religion if you don’t have freedom from religion. You can’t protect religious freedom, if you don’t have the right not to believe in mythological nonsense.
The decision also said:

“The policy was discriminatory because its definition of acceptable materials violated substantive equality by excluding the kinds of materials central to many creeds,” reads the decision.

Not only did it block Atheist texts, wrote the Tribunal, but texts by Falun Gong and other “emerging or non-traditional creeds.” The decision also noted that some creeds, such as Native Spiritual Beliefs, do not even have texts.

I know it shocked me to read that Christians felt so entitled that they thought they could hand out their books and spread their cult by trying to close out discussion about any other belief, philosophy or religion. 
This Canadian would like to thank Mr. Choinard.
I wish everyone would just stop trying to convert children at school. They have enough on their plate without being bombarded by people trying to indoctrinate them. If they want to learn about religion, work on getting a comparative religion class, or go to church or read about it on the internet.  There’s lots of options for learning about religion that don’t include proselytizing at a public school.
It’s only a matter of time, I fear, before Christians start whining about this decision, and start saying that this proves atheism is a religion.
It’s not. That doesn’t mean people who don’t believe in God don’t deserve the same protections under the law as those who do believe in a deity.

Why I’m Proud to Be an Atheist

I’ve been asked why I bother to write about religion more times than I can count. I’ve also been asked why I’m so ‘militant’ towards religion, and why I can’t just let religious people believe whatever they want.

First off, militant is not what I am. Militant is what happens when a Muslim straps a bomb to themselves to attain a place in a mystical, supernatural fairy place called heaven. Militant is what happens when some Christian decides to kill an abortion doctor or blow up a clinic. Militant is what happens when a person is killed because their community believes in black magic, or what happens when a society is so steeped in mythology that they think beating or killing someone who doesn’t believe their nonsense is a good thing to do.

That’s militant.

Posting my point of view on a public blog that you can ignore altogether if you wish is not militant. Disagreeing with a Christian point of view after they post it on a public forum (such as a blog) is not militant. There’s no bomb, gun, knife, fist throwing action going on here. There is no militancy happening.

And look…I freely admit that I can be as dumb as the next guy. I also don’t think my atheism makes me smarter than a Christian. In fact, it pisses me off when some atheists try to label themselves ‘brights’ or some other horse crap name. I realize that there are probably millions upon millions of Christians who are smarter than me. I also know there are some pretty ignorant atheists out there. I also understand why they believe in whatever religious ideology they believe in, because I once believed it too. I don’t blame them for believing it and I think atheists and religious folk have more in common than differences.

However, I am proud to be an atheist.

Despite being raised in an environment that constantly told me that God is real, and despite parents, relatives, friends, authority figures, churches, loved ones and almost everyone else I ever ran into telling me that God is real, I figured that shit out all on my own. I did the research. I read history books, acquainted myself with logic and reason and the scientific method, looked up similar religious myths to the one I was raised in and realized I’d been sold a pile of mythological claptrap my entire life.

I constantly challenge my atheism and don’t feel a bit of guilt for doing so. I’m constantly reading religious books, and I don’t have to believe that those religious books are the work of some supernatural boogeyman named Satan.

I also think atheism is important for a number of reasons, such as:

  1. I’m tired of policies being based on ancient mythological literature
  2. I’m tired of people being denied equal rights because of mythological nonsense
  3. I’m tired of foreign policy being based on fairy tales
  4. I’m tired of faith being lauded as a virtue
  5. I’m tired of seeing our finite resources spent on churches and religion, when I think those resources could be better spent on bettering humanity and the conditions we live in
  6. I’m tired of religions trying to sneak their fairy tales into the school system
  7. I’m tired of religions fighting one another about who has the better imaginary God
  8. I’m tired of science being held back by mythology
  9. I’m tired of hearing that atheists don’t believe in anything, and are all nihilistic, angry, money-grubbing douche bags, when the exact opposite is often true – we believe in all of reality
  10. I’m tired of being told that I have to bow my head respectfully when someone spouts their mythology as if it’s true and is backed by mountains of evidence
  11. I’m tired to death of religious people trying to oppress same-sex couples and women based on ancient myths
  12. I’m tired of needing the atheist label, simply because around 8 out of 10 people in North America believe in an invisible man in the sky. It seems as ridiculous to me as needing a term such as a-fairyist or a-gnomist, since those myths have the same amount of evidence as every other God myth

I also get why Christians talk about their religion. They think their religion is good for society. They think they’re spreading the good news of Jesus or Allah or whatever other God they believe in.

I get it. I really do. I think they should talk about it, since they think it’s important.

I just happen to hold the opposite view. I think for the most part, religion hurts society. Not in all aspects but in a great many of them. I also think the good aspects that religion brings to the table, such as community, charity etc. can (and would) continue with or without mythologies.

For example, the various churches (its members) currently donate a lot of money and man-hours to charitable causes. If those same people suddenly didn’t believe in God, would they also stop donating their time and money to charity? Why do we need belief in a God to help our fellow humans?

Imagine if all the money sucked up by those various churches were to be spent on things like creating green energy, feeding the hungry or medical research. How many more people could we feed? How many diseases could we eradicate with that money? How long would it take for us to clean up our planet?

Just the Catholic Church alone could feed millions of people with the wealth they’ve amassed. Religion isn’t needed for any of these things. It’s really more a hindrance than anything else.

Do I think humanities problems would evaporate overnight if everyone suddenly stopped believing in an invisible, supernatural deity?

Of course not! We’re mammals doing stupid mammal things, but I think it would be a huge step in the right direction. Religion may have been needed in the past, but stepping away from mythology is a step towards critical thinking, logic and evidence based thinking.

Creationism shouldn’t be taught in schools. Critical thinking skills and the scientific method should be taught in schools.

We don’t need religion to practice core philosophies like ‘do unto others’ or ‘love thy neighbor’. These concepts predate the religions of today, and all you need is compassion and empathy to see these philosophies have merit. You don’t need to believe in supernatural Gods with magic powers to practice these concepts.

So many Christians (and people of other faiths) practice these concepts unless it goes against their religious nonsense. How many good Christians do you know, who are ethically solid most of the time, who won’t waste a second before pronouncing that homosexuality is unnatural.

For crying out loud, homosexuality is perfectly natural. If it wasn’t natural, homosexuality wouldn’t exist. There are no ghost/supernatural homosexuals. But because some people have been indoctrinated with mythological nonsense their entire lives, they just take for granted that homosexuals are evil, Satan’s pawns or abominations going against God’s will. So many religious people are so indoctrinated, they think their all-powerful God has nothing better to do than sit around and worry about where an insignificant human puts their penis. They have no interest in debating whether it’s natural or whether it hurts society as a whole (they don’t) or even whether their claim is true. They simply take on faith that their ancient manuscripts, written by primitive people who thought mental illness was demon possession, is true. Their God supposedly said so, so it must be true.

I also totally understand if you’re an atheist who is in the closet. You might feel as though you’ll lose your job, family, friends, community etc. If you feel that way, I get it. Maybe at some point, you’ll feel safe and comfortable enough to step out of the closet.

However, it shouldn’t be atheists who are embarrassed.

If you’re an atheist reading this, you’re not the one who believes in an invisible being in the sky, a mystical realm laid out for you by this deity, people rising from the dead, magical acts like the parting of the sea with a wave of a hand, demons, or any of the other magical claims religions make without a shred of evidence.

You’re not the one who feels as though you have to filter every decision through a lens of ancient mythology. You’re not the one who thinks homosexuals are abominations simply because some desert dwellers said so in a book a few thousand years ago or because some person in priestly garb told you so.

Inside, I hope you’re as proud as I am that you figured it out. Despite everything, you realized that you were fed a load of malarkey your entire life and you saw through their crap.

I think atheism is important. I’m proud to be out of the closet. I’m proud to be an atheist. I think as our knowledge grows and our civilization advances, we’ll eventually put away our childish myths and confront reality. I’m proud to be an insignificant part of that process, and a minuscule part of the entire universe that we live in.

That’s what I believe in. I believe in reality.

Does Faith Justify a Belief?

Will faith overcome reality?
You often hear theists defend their belief in a deity using faith. Some will claim that they have faith in their specific deity, and that is enough justification for them, and anyone else who may question their position. Some will claim that faith doesn’t need to be justified, much in the way that feelings don’t have to be justified. While others will claim that everyone has faith in something, so their faith in God is no different.
I would disagree with all of those reasons for believing faith can justify believing in something.
It’s like a feeling
While it’s true that you’re allowed to feel however you wish to feel, you do have to justify those feelings in many cases.
For example, if my wife is angry with me I’ll want to know why.  I’m not going to be satisfied with a, ‘I have faith I should be angry with you’ or an ‘I’m just angry because I feel like being angry’, kind of answer. I will want distinct reasons for her anger towards me, so that I can see if she’s justified in her anger. In some cases, I’ll want to question her anger or defend myself against her anger. In other cases, I’ll see that she’s justified in being angry with me, and I’ll apologize.
Sometimes, she may find that her anger is irrational (bad day at work, dog pissed her off, frustrated at money issues etc.) and once she’s able to vent to me, she will probably see that her anger towards me is unjustified, unreasoned and irrational.
Faith is enough
From an individual standpoint, faith may very well be enough reason to believe something.
However, once you bring that belief into the public forum, it’s not unreasonable to expect that you will be questioned about that belief.
A stance made purely on faith is as valid as any other stance based on faith. This is true whether that faith based belief is a religious or philosophical belief.
For example, I could say that I have faith in Zeus. Another could say they have faith in humanism, and another might say they have faith in Jesus. We now have three faith based claims that might be incompatible, but none of them have to rationally justify their belief because it’s based on faith.
 How do we judge what is true and what isn’t?
You can’t. Not if the belief is based solely on faith. Using the faith based system, anyone can make a positive claim (gnomes, dragons, wizards, and purple people) that something exists, and never have to prove their claim is true. We have no way to evaluate those claims, and each of them is equally valid.
And what if those faith based beliefs hold immoral teachings, such as same-sex couples are evil or apostasy is worthy of the death sentence?
Their belief is as justified as any other religious or faith based belief, simply because we have no way to evaluate whether or not that belief is true.
This basically means that faith is not a reasonable defense for any faith that purports to have any connection whatsoever to reality. Since we have no way to evaluate whether one faith is truer than another, one religion cannot claim that their religion is true while another is untrue.
Everyone has faith in something
Religious people and un-religious people make most of their decisions based on rationality and reason.
For example, I don’t bash my leg against the table because I’ve done it a number of times and found that it hurts. If I were to suddenly wish to test that theory, I could bash my leg against the table and see (or feel) that my original theory still holds true.
Almost everything we do is based on observation and evidence.
Some religious people claim that atheism is a form of faith because they have faith that God doesn’t exist.
For most atheists, this isn’t true. I don’t say that a deity of some sort couldn’t possibly exist. I merely see no evidence that one exists. I also see a bunch of theists who make wild claims without any evidence to back them up. They just want me to accept their claims based on faith, which I’ve already shown is a faulty, irrational basis for belief.
If evidence for a God were to appear, then I would change my stance on the matter. Of course, theists would still have to prove that their particular deity is the correct one, since there are thousands of faith based Gods.
It takes the same amount of faith for me not to believe a theist’s claim as it takes for them not to believe in the myriad of other Gods out there. 
 So does faith justify a belief?
No it doesn’t. It offers no method for evaluation. It isn’t rational or reasonable. Every faith based claim is as likely to be true as any other, and with no way to evaluate each claim, both are equally credible. Faith is unreliable, and faith allows you to ignore reality without justification.

Why The Hell Would Any Woman Want To Be A Christian?

It’s always baffled me that any woman would believe, much less want to associate themselves with Christianity. All you have to do is crack open the bible and begin to read and the misogyny leaps off the page at you.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s take a look at what the good book has to say about women. Let’s begin with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

There you have it. Many Christians like to distance themselves from the Old Testament. They’ll say that Jesus came and God wanted a redo or something. But the beauty of Corinthians is that it’s New Testament material, so no more excuses. If you’re a woman, you’re to stay silent in the church and if you want to know something, then you should ask your husbands.

If the bible is the inerrant word of God (or inspired word of God) then why don’t Christian women follow this passage?

Could it possibly be because they know it’s misogynistic horse shit?

Let’s check out what Ecclesiasticus 25: 19,24 has to say about women.

No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman… Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die.

According to the bible, it was all the women’s fault. If it hadn’t been for her, we’d all be living for eternity. Hell, sin began with her. Plus, according to Genesis, women were made for men. Men came first and only once God decided to create a woman for Adam (after much fumbling) did sin end up happening.

If you’re a Christian woman reading this, are you starting to see a trend yet? The bible doesn’t much like you. You’re basically second-class citizens to the God of the bible.

Speaking of Genesis, let’s go there so we can see more of Gods wisdom. Take Genesis 3:16 for example.

Unto the woman he said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Hear that women? You had to disobey God (even though he’s all powerful and would have known that you’d do it before it happened) and now you made him multiply your pain and sorrow at childbirth. Notice how God sounds like the typical male who beats women? Usually, that type of man will say something like, ‘she made me do it’, in one form or another. But if God does it, then it’s okay.

Also pay close attention to the last part, where God orders women to be ruled by their husbands. It’s not subtle in the least.

Let’s head over to Ephesians 5: 22-24 for a second, where we get more misogynistic advice from the ‘good book’.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Now I’ve seen Christians try to explain away this verse by saying that the husband being head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church means that they are to love their wives above all else. After all, didn’t Christ die on the cross so that he could forgive your sins? Isn’t that the definition of love?

However, even if you ignore the logic that God killed himself because he felt it needed doing and could have avoided it altogether if he’d wished, that doesn’t touch on how women are basically portrayed as servants, and men are compared to being like God himself.

But let’s head back over to the book of I Corinthians (11:8-9). Remember how I said earlier that women were made for Adam? Well here’s some proof for you Christians.

For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.

This is basically repeated in I Timothy 2:11-14, where it says:

Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Again the bible admonishes women to be silent. Are you seeing the picture clearly yet? It’s almost as if (this is going to sound crazy) the bible was written by men, who wanted to keep their womenfolk in line. I know that sounds unbelievable. How could primitive patriarchal societies do such a thing?

And these verses are only the tip of the iceberg. The bible is full of women getting raped, turned to salt, killed and battered for no real reason. You don’t have to look very far before realizing that when a woman is barren in the bible, and God miraculously opens their womb, it’s a boy that is born. In fact, the bible doesn’t usually list the daughters who were born, because they’re largely unimportant.

So if you’re a woman, and you truly believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God, why aren’t you following what the bible says?

My guess is that you know deep down inside that it’s a book of mythology, written by primitive misogynistic men. Either that or you haven’t read the bible for yourself, and simply rely on what other people tell you it says.

Christian Question About The Evidence for God

I recently received  a question in the comment section of my article, Evidence of God.

It read:

Hi. I am a Christian. You’re an Atheist. Let me ask you something. Can you see your brain. Well no. Can you touch your brain? No. Ok then you don’t have a brain. Here is your proof of God. You are it. You are precisely made to look the exact way you are. No one else is like you. Tell me, can that just be? How can you only believe what you see? Do you speak the truth? Let me see. Hmm. Can I see sound waves? Nope. Then they don’t exist. Tell me. How does your Atheist belief work with those questions? Do you have no understanding in your heart. Do you love your wife. Well I’ve never seen love so it can’t exist.

I thought I’d respond to it, since it was respectfully asked and I feel it’s a question I’ve heard quite often from theists.

You’re right that I can’t look in the mirror and see my brain. However, I can use imaging devices (science) to view my brain if I wish. I could drill a hole in my head (not a delightful thought) and see my brain. Medical doctors (pesky science again) have done millions of autopsies and found a brain.

In other words, there is loads of evidence that each of us has a brain. I don’t need to take it on faith that I have a brain.

The second point about me being proof that there is a God is incorrect. I’m proof that my parents came together and shared their DNA with each other, and I was the end result. No God required. We understand through (you got it) science how our species reproduces and there really is no mystery there.

I was not made to look like anything. I just am. True, no one else is exactly like me, but I hardly see that as proof of a God. And yes, that can just be. We’re all shaped by our culture, the societies we live in, the people and experiences we’re exposed too and our DNA.

As to the third point about not being able to see sound waves…we can measure and reproduce sound waves. We know how they interact with our ear drums etc. and there is abundant evidence that sound waves exist.

The last part about ‘love’ is probably your best question, but again, it doesn’t prove your God, or any other God, exists. We each experience love differently. We do know how chemical reactions in our bodies react when we’re attracted to someone, and the term ‘love’ is a nebulous thing that most of us can’t even describe. It’s basically the feeling of deep affection for another human being.

For example, I love my wife differently than I love my best friend. I love my dog differently than I love my kids. While there are things we don’t understand yet about our feelings, that doesn’t mean we can automatically jump to ‘God did it’ as an explanation. That’s simply intellectually lazy.

Finally, I want to address my ‘atheist belief’. Seriously, it works just fine with all of these things. It functions perfectly well with all of the examples you gave, and I don’t feel the need to jump to the conclusion that a supernatural deity somehow did any of these things. It’s not up to me to prove whether God exists or not. Theists are the ones making the positive claim that God exists, without a shred of evidence. Theists are the ones who believe in magic and miracles. I simply ask that they furnish some proof before I will believe any of these wild claims.

So far…no proof that your God exists has made itself available.

I guess you’ll just have to take it on faith.

Religious People Tend to Be More Racist?

According to a new study, religious people tend to be more racist than their non-religious counterparts:

The purpose of the study is to be “a meta-analytic review of past research evaluated the link between religiosity and racism in the United States since the Civil Rights Act.” The report observed that “members of religious congregations tend to harbor prejudiced views of other races.” The study surveyed over 20,000 white Christians, citing their role as the largest demographic, both in terms of race and religious denomination, in the United States.

The reason the study states, is because of in-group prejudice. In other words, those who are outside the group are considered less worthy.

We certainly see this sometimes when it comes to Christians saying that atheists have no reason to be moral. However, the article does mention this little tidbit, which I tend to disagree with:

The message of Jesus was universal and most certainly did not include racism.

Not really. Jesus showed his racist nature a few times in the bible. For example we have this in the book of Matthew:

“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.”

So many Christians believe that Jesus’ message was for everyone, but during the time that Jesus supposedly lived, he would have been preaching to the Jews, who at the time, were under Roman occupation. He wasn’t preaching to everyone, but trying to reunite the twelve tribes of Israel so that he could free the Jews from under the yoke of the Romans.

We also have this in the book of Acts:

“Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

We also see some inherent racism in the image of Jesus.  Ever notice the Jesus of North America is white?

For example:

Is this is true image of what Jesus would have looked like? Or is it simply a Europeanized Jesus?

What would Jesus have really looked like if he had lived?

According to forensic science, Jesus would have looked more like this.

Like a lot of things that have to do with religion, reality is distorted, and yet so many Christians see nothing wrong with this racist view of Jesus.

As the article notes:

According to Wood the report’s findings “may ring false to practicing Christians in mixed-race congregations,” noting however that “there aren’t many churches that practice with a mixed-race congregation.” Interaction and exposure to Christians of other races would easily help to eliminate the myths and false notions that fuel racism. What is quite ironic, and even hilarious, is that Christ himself was an Arab Jew, a Levantine native and dark skinned. Reality is quite contrary to the classical image of the white, hunky, and hippie-esque imagery that proliferated in medieval and renaissance Europe and still resonates in the minds of Christians.

Perhaps I’m a skeptic, but I doubt racist or discriminatory behavior will  disappear from Christianity. We see how rampant homophobia is within many Christian communities. That doesn’t mean every Christian is homophobic, but to deny that it’s fairly common place, even among more progressive Christians, would be misleading, in my opinion. Even liberal Christians I’ve personally talked too will have no problem pronouncing that same-sex couples are living in sin or other such nonsense.